I adore my three cats and I know they love me, too. Having lived with fabulous felines most of my life, I’m also fully aware of their contrary behavior. Sometimes it feels like their actions — or inactions — are done simply to irritate me. Maybe I’m totally off on this, and I’m sure this isn’t always the case, but I have a feeling this happens a fair amount of the time. Some of the actions are premeditated and others are completely off-the-cuff, but they’re done with the brand of smug snark that only a cat can dish out.
Do I sound paranoid? Perhaps, but consider my evidence before making such a charge.
It’s a fact: Baskets of all kinds are cat magnets. If I place a basket of any kind on the floor, it sits empty for only a matter of seconds. Cats have this box, bag and basket radar that sends them flying from every corner of the house when a signal is picked up. Imagine the ease in my step as I prepared to snap a photo of a cat in a basket for a post I was writing. Based on experience, all three cats would fight over who nailed the basket first. I placed the basket beside Saffy and she looked at it like, “What is this thing?” Seriously?
She loves plastic laundry baskets — with or without clothes inside — and I’d never seen her refuse a basket. Ever. I finally warmed some towels in the dryer and dumped them inside the basket. Even then, I had to pick her up and place her inside the basket. I think she totally knew I was counting on this shot and she wanted to mess with me.
Phoebe is fed on-demand. This is because she prefers grazing throughout the day, but the other two cats are pigs and descend upon her dish like wild jackals. Phoebe makes a fuss when she wants food and then we have to stand over her like bodyguards while she’s eating.
But don’t start feeling too sorry for Phoebe. She’s gotten into the habit of meowing like she’s dying of starvation every time someone walks into the kitchen. We feed her and most of the time she eats, but otherwise, she looks at us like, “Screw this,” and walks away. It’s not the food — she’s eaten it forever. I think it’s a control game. Whether or not she’s actually hungry is beside the point. She just wants to see how fast she can make us move. I’ve caught onto her game and now I don’t race to appease the princess if she’s only just eaten.
See — don’t feel too sorry for Phoebe. Feel sorry for me.
When my cats want me to wake up, they can act beyond annoyingly. After lying there and hoping the incessant mewing and racing across the bed will stop (it never does), I go ahead and drag my butt out of bed — even if it’s too early to feed the beasties. Do you know what really chaps my hide? When one of them immediately follows me into the living room, and then proceeds to curl up and fall asleep. What? You just harassed me, robbing me of sleep on the weekend and now you want to sleep? That’s when I poke her. “Wake up! How does that feel??” I’m not above admitting my childish behavior.
When given the choice of carpet and a hard surface, cats will always choose the carpet — even if they have to move to get to there. It’s one of the basic laws of cat physics. And if you try to move the cat to a hard surface while he’s making pre-vomit sounds, he’ll puke en route. And maybe some of it will get on you. That’s another basic law of cat physics.
You are familiar with this one, I’m sure. Cat meows at the door. Human opens door. Cat stand in the middle of the doorway, suddenly undecided. “Do I want to come inside or would I rather stay on this side of the door?” The only thing that’s for certain is that now we can’t close the door.
If I suddenly need something, chances are one of my cats is lying on top of it. Case in point: my favorite gray cardigan. I wear it nearly every day and have for more than ten years. Oddly enough, my little Target clearance deal is is still in fantastic shape. It’s missing a button, but I don’t care and never find it important enough to sit down and replace it. I know they love it because it smells like me, but it’s mine and I want to wear it! Of course I usually feel too guilty to snatch it from beneath them so I sometimes have to settle for my brown cardigan, which isn’t nearly as soft.
And it’s not just my cardigan in question. I need to grab something from a laundry basket? A cat’s on it. I want to snuggle up with my favorite green blanket? There’s a cat on it. They always get to it before I do. I think they must be psychic.
Does your cat seem to intentionally irritate you? Tell us in the comments!
About the Author: Angie Bailey is a goofy girl with freckles and giant smile who wants everyone to be her friend. Loves pre-adolescent boy humor, puns, making up parody songs, and thinking about cats doing people things. Writes Catladyland, a cat humor blog, and authored whiskerslist: the kitty classifieds, a silly book about cats wheeling and dealing online. Partner in a production company and writes and acts in comedy web series that may or may not offend people. Mother to two humans and three cats, all of which want her to make them food.
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